Pakistan turns away thousands of Afghans from Torkham
03 January, 2013
LANDIKOTAL: Thousands of Afghan nationals who did not have valid travelling documents were turned away from the Torkham border on Wednesday.
Pakistan has banned entry into the country though the border for those Afghans who do not have passport and visas. Thousands of Afghans were sent back from the Torkham border crossing and Michni post on Wednesday by the Pakistani border security forces and Khyber Khasadar Force.
Meanwhile, the Afghan border forces also turned back the Pak-Afghan friendship buses and ambulance from the Torkham border crossing after the Pakistani border authorities imposed the condition that the Afghan nationals would not be allowed into Pakistan without having legal travelling documents, administration and local sources said.
Thousands of people, particularly patients and women, suffered hardships because of the newly implemented restrictions. The new condition of the passports and visas would greatly hurt trade and business of the local tribal traders and transporters, said on Rohul Ameen Shinwari while talking to mediamen at Torkham. Another local, Abdul Samad Khan, said that taxi drivers and those people who have blood relations in Afghanistan would suffer due to the newly imposed restrictions, saying that the tribesmen have never used visas and passports for travel to Afghanistan in the past.
The security forces have also asked the Pakistanis to avoid going to Afghanistan without national identity cards, visas and passports because the Pakistanis would also not be allowed on the other side of the border without national identity cards. The Afghan border officials, on loudspeakers, asked their countrymen to go back if they did not have visas and passports. The border forces conducted strict checking of the identity cards of the Afghans.
However, drivers and conductors of all the trucks were allowed on both sides without visas and passports, sources said.